Winter now has us firmly in her grasp and, depending where in the Northern Hemisphere you might be, this means either snow and ice or grey and grisly… But whichever it might be, the perfect antidote has to be a wonderfully inviting sip of a warming Cognac drink.
Of course, the Cognac Expert team were delighted to carry out the research necessary to put together the ultimate list of 9 warm Cognac drinks you might like to try. So without further ado, let’s take a look at what we came up with. After all, there’s something rather decadent about a generous measure of your favorite Cognac dissolved within a hot concoction. And we have to say, when the weather’s doing its worst outside, the following really are, quite simply, the comforting “hug in a glass” that makes the world that little bit better…
1. Snow Honey Cocktail
The hot loveliness that is the Snow Honey Cocktail is brought to us courtesy of the Cognac giant, Courvoisier. This combines the comfort of hot milk with that of eau-de-vie, making for an awesome night cap that’s definitely R rated.
- 4 ounces of milk
- 1 teaspoon clover honey
- 1 ½ ounces of Cognac
- Nutmeg to garnish
Heat the milk over a low heat (be sure to stir as you do so or use a whisk to add a little air) and remove as it begins to steam. Place the warm milk in an Irish coffee glass along with the honey and Cognac. Stir well and garnish with the grated nutmeg.
Recommended Cognac: Courvoisier VSOP.
2. Hennessy Hot Toddy
Another “Big 4” example, the Hennessy Hot Toddy is just the ticket after a bracing winter walk or, dare we say it, if you’re fighting off the remnants of a seasonal cold. Another top tip is to get someone else to make it for you… Such a luxury always tastes better when someone else does the hard work.
- 8 ounces hot water
- 1 bag herbal tea
- 1 ounce Hennessy Cognac
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 lemon wedge
- 1 cinnamon stick
Pour the hot water into a mug and steep the herbal tea for around three minutes. Stir in the maple syrup, add the Cognac, and squeeze in the juice from the lemon. Stir, add the cinnamon stick, and enjoy.
Recommended Cognac: Hennessy VSOP Privilege
3. Hot Buttered Brandy
We have to say, this gorgeous hot Cognac drink is just that little bit wicked (and you can decide how wicked by how generous a portion of eau-de-vie you add…)
- Cognac (one or two shots, depending on your preference0
- 1 stick softened unsalted butter
- 2 ½ cups dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- Pinch of salt
Mix all the ingredients (except the Cognac) together in a bowl to make a batter. Place the Cognac in a mug or Cognac warming glass, add two tablespoons of the batter and then fill the mug with boiling water and stir to combine. Serve and enjoy (spare batter can be kept in the fridge until needed).
Recommended Cognac: Camus VSOP Elegance
4. Tom and Jerry
Popular in the Mid-West of the US, this winter cocktail is well worth a try. It’s a slightly more luxurious (definitely more calorific) than the Hot Buttered Brandy above, and the perfect option to serve to friends and family at a Christmas party, holiday event, or to toast in the coming New Year.
For the batter:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 ounce aged rum
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- Pinch ground cloves
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the punch:
- 1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) Cognac
- 1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) aged rum
- 2 ½ cups (20 ounces) hot whole milk
- Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
First make the batter by whisking together the sugar, egg yolks, rum, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together until stiff. Fold this into the bowl of egg yolk.
Place the batter in a punch bowl, stir in the Cognac and rum (carefully, so as not to deflate the batter). Gently pour in the milk and stir slowly. Garnish with grated nutmeg. Serve immediately
Recommended Cognac: Gautier VSOP
5. Saintly Swedish Glögg
A mulled wine with a touch of devilish potency, Saintly Swedish Glögg is one for when the snow is falling outside, the fire is crackling, or on return to the ski lodge after a great day on the slopes.
- 1.5 liter bottle dry red wine
- 1.5 liter bottle American port
- 750 ml bottle Cognac
- 10 inches total of cinnamon sticks
- 15 cardamom seed pods or 1 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds
- 2 dozen whole cloves
- 1 orange peel, whole and washed
- 1/2 cup dark raisins
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 2 cups sugar
- Garnish with the peel of another orange
Crack the cardamom seed pods—leave seeds inside. Place the red wine and port into a stainless steel pan (important that it’s not copper or aluminum due to chemical interactions that have an implication on the taste. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, orange peel, raisins, and almonds—cover pot and simmer.
Put half the Cognac and the sugar in a pan, gently heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 15 minutes. When the tiny bubbles become large this indicates that the sugar is beginning to caramelize. Add this to the spiced wine mix, cover and simmer for an hour. Add more Cognac to taste.
Strain and serve in a mug or Irish coffee glass, garnished with a strip of fresh orange peel.. (Or, if you really want to experience the best of the drink, age it for a month or even as long as a year—in corked bottles).
Recommended Cognac: The multi-faceted Louis Royer VSOP
6. Mexican Boozy Hot Chocolate
This is a hot chocolate that really will make you think you’ve died and gone to heaven. After all… The combination of a great Cognac with chocolate—a product that the Aztecs considered worth more than gold! And when you taste this wonderful recipe we think you’ll understand exactly why.
- Milk or half n’ half (although we have to say, why? If you’re going calorific, then do it in style!)
- 3.5 ounce bar of dark chocolate
- Sprinkle chipotle powder
- Agave nectar
- Whipping cream
- Orange zest to garnish
- Mole bitters
Gently heat the milk in a saucepan, add the chocolate and stir until melted. Add the cinnamon, chipotle powder, and agave nectar—stir well. Add the Cognac, stir and simmer for a minute or so, ensuring the liquid doesn’t come to the boil.
Pour into mugs, shake a few dashes of mole bitters on top and garnish with the orange zest (or add anything you feel like – marshmallows, anyone?)
Recommended Cognac: Hine VSOP Rare Fine Champagne
7. Warm Almond and Cognac Cocktail
The perfect antidote to creamy eggnog and the buttery delights above, this almond and Cognac offering will also appeal to anyone with an aversion to dairy.
- 4½ ounces almond milk
- 1½ ounces Cognac
- ¼ teaspoon Maraska Maraschino Cherry Liqueur
- ¾ ounce Demerara
First make the demerara syrup by simmering 2 parts sugar with 1 part water until it dissolves. Then place all the ingredients together in a small pan and stir until it steams. Pour into Irish coffee glasses, or a saké cups and enjoy…
Recommended Cognac: Meukow VSOP Superior
8. Ultimate Spiked Gingerbread Latte
The spicy loveliness of gingerbread goes down a treat at any time of year, and this decadent mix that includes coffee, Cognac, and Baileys might sound rather rich, but it works beautifully…
Ingredients for the gingerbread syrup:
- 1 Cup water
- 1 Cup sugar
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 inch ginger
- 2 cinnamon
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pinch sea salt
Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan, cook over medium-high heat until it boils, then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Remove and cool, strain. Can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 weeks if needed.
Ingredients for the ginger-cinnamon spiced whipped cream:
- 1 cup cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Sprinkle of ginger
Chill a metal mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for 15 minutes. Add all ingredients to the bowl and whisk into stiff peaks.
- 2 oz Cognac
- 6 oz coffee
- 1.5 oz gingerbread syrup
- 1 oz Baileys
- Ginger-cinnamon spiced whipped cream
Method for making the drink:
Stir the Cognac and gingerbread syrup in a mug or Irish coffee glass. Pour in the coffee, top with Baileys and stir. Top with ginger-spiced whipped cream.
Recommended Cognac: The award winning Deau URB’N De Luxe
9. Hennessy Hot Cocoa
The perfect Cognac hot toddy, this hot Hennessy delight will warm the cockles on even the coldest of days. While you could, of course, simply add a tot of Cognac to a plain old hot chocolate, we guarantee that the few minutes it takes to create this masterpiece really is worth the effort.
- 1 ½ ounces Hennessy Cognac
- ¾ ounce spiced syrup
- 3 drops vanilla extract (pure)
- 5 ounces hot chocolate
- 1 ounce heavy cream
- Garnish: nutmeg (grated)
- Garnish: dark chocolate (grated)
Put the Cognac, spiced syrup, vanilla extract, and hot chocolate in an Irish coffee glass and stir. Layer cream on the top by pouring over the back of a dessert spoon. Garnish with the nutmeg and grated chocolate.
Recommended Cognac: Hennessy Fine de Cognac